We asked journalist and civic educator Alexander Heffner to cover the college vote for us in the run-up to Election Day. This is the first in a series from his tour of campuses from Claremont to Mount Holyoke to the University of Nebraska — stay tuned for more.
After two election cycles engaged intimately in the coverage of younger voters, their principal policy concerns, their grassroots engagement and their ultimate turnout on Election Day, I continue my study this fall to reveal what is driving the youth vote during this campaign cycle. In the run-up to November, I am visiting college campuses across the country, from New England schools of liberal arts to major public universities like University of California, Irvine.
Along the way, I have designed an evolving presentation for first-time college voters, aspiring journalists and graduate students that provides an historical overview of the youth vote’s impact on the American political system since 1972, as well as a real-time analysis of Millennials and the current presidential contest.
Over the last half-dozen years, as a reporter for both new and traditional media, I have been schooled in the demographic of digital natives – Millennials. To really understand this group, it is important to identify three important subsets in the context of President Obama’s re-election bid and the broader 2012 campaign.
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